Does anyone know how to keep the bugs and blight at bay when growing
tomatoes without using chemicals such as tomato dust? I have heard
that using the 'grey water' from the last cycle of the washing machine
works. Has any got any other suggestions? Thanks.
Seaweed (kelp) sprays. I use Maxicrop's dehydrated powder. The foliage
stays healthy until late in the season. I don't have problems with aphids and
flea beetles are a minor nuisance.
A good, clean mulch also goes a long way to cutting down on problems.
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)
Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
email@example.com (Katrina) wrote in message
Good soil makes the plant stronger against both blight and bugs. In my
case, I get blight in potatoes and tomatoes in my new garden, which I
have just started amending, but not in the established old garden with
compost beds. Mulch also helps, by limiting soil splash, as does drip
irrigation or in general avoidance of overhead watering.
On 18 Oct 2004 21:49:41 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org (Katrina)
Soapy water will work to kill aphids, whitefly,and other small bugs,
which is probably why gray water from the washing machine was
mentioned. How safe that is would probably depend on what kind
of soap used or if you used a fabric softener. I've never heard of
a soap spray protecting against a blight, though. I suppose if the
coating of soap on the plant was thick enough, it might act as a
barrier; but the first rain would change that, and I don't imagine
that much soap would be very good for the plant.
Neem oil is a natural product that will kill insects and protect
against some blights, but being natural doesn't make it less
of a chemical.
Simply saying "gray water" is not sufficient as all "additives" to clean
clothes are different.
An example, one detergent I used was not only very good for my rose bush
on which it drained, it was like a magic wand, unbelievable growth and no
bugs! I changed, very briefly, to Amway and nearly killed the plant.
That rinse water will contain much of the washing additive, be it soap or
detergent. For me, I wouldn't consider using any type of "gray water" on
my food plants. My philosophy is if I won't drink the water myself, I
don't want it on my food plants. Maybe extreme, but far safer for the
plants (and for me) as far as water is concerned.
With that said, I use laundry water for general watering quite often, lawn
and misc. other plants. I'm fortunate that my laundry room is at the back
making diverting it very simple.
As always, YMMV.
Planting marigolds between the tomatoes keeps whitefly away, infusion o
nettle is good for greenfly and dried comfrey leaves around the base o
the plant help with disease. It's always worth collecting ladybirds an
moving them to your tomato plants too. If you can't do the marigolds o
nettles, then soft soap in water does a pretty good job agains
greenfly and other pahids
My tomatoes have been consistently problem free for several years. I do
them, but keep them watered, and the soil well fertilized before
planting. The thing
which may make a difference for me is that I have two raised beds. One
for tomatoes, and another for the other vegetables. I alternate these
season, so the tomatoes are not re-planted the next season in the same
place. It is
possible that any tomatoe pests that take up residence do not get a chance
to go into
high gear for the next season. There are probably other benefits in doing
this kind of
For Tomato Horn Worms, the best defense are Cardinals. The Cardinal's
favorite food is horn worms. Their second favorate is Sun Flower Seeds. In
the spring keep your bird feeder stocked with sun flower seeds to attract
cardinals, and get them to stay in the area. Watching them hunt in you
'maters is fun tool
For Aphids, I use Ladybugs. You can buy them at a good garden shop or by
For other pests, as a last resort, I use a product from "Gardens Alive"
called "Pyola". It's a mix of Canola Oil and pyrethrin, an extract from
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